With Henry VIII away fighting in France, the Scottish King James resolved to invade England. The decision was to cost him his life.
In 1513, King Henry of England, together with Maximilian, the Holy Roman Emperor, was besieging the city of Therouanne during the Catholic' League's war against France. The French Queen Mary persuaded James IV, the Scottish king, to revive "The Auld Alliance" and divert Henry's attention by invading England and sent him money and weapons to arm and equip his army. Henry had recently angered James and opened old wounds by claiming to be the overlord of Scotland and the Scot relished the opportunity to get back at Henry, despite being married to Margaret Tudor, Henry's sister.
During the Crimean War, the British army and its French and Turkish allies, moved to capture the Russian port of Sevastopo. In the ensuing battle at Balaklava, a misunderstood order, plus enmity between senior British officers, led to a heroic but catastrophic charge by Lord Cardigan’s Light Brigade.
In October 1854, allied forces were besieging the port and fortress of Sevastopol. British forces were based at Balaklava on the right flank of the siege, but lacked sufficient numbers to defend in depth. The Russian General Liprandi decided to attack this weak point in an attempt to disrupt the supply lines between the British base and the siege lines. Liprani's forces consisted of 24 battalions of infantry, 23 squadrons of cavalry, 13 squadrons of Cossacks and 66 heavy guns. Supporting Liprani was a further Russian force on the nearby Fedioukine Hills.
With the successful landing of the British amphibious forces on the Falklands, victory was only a matter of time. There remained however, the capture of Port Stanley itself and the Argentine army had strongly fortified the surrounding hills to protect the town. The task of clearing the way was given to 3 Para, who, under the command of Lt Col Hew Pyke, launched a night attack on the enemy bunkers. The bloody hand to hand battle with bayonet and grenade that followed led to the final surrender of Argentine forces on the islands.
Much has been written about the heroism and bravery displayed by the British landing forces in the recapture of the Falkland Islands, but there was another war, just as deadly taking place at sea and in the air, that, if lost, could end both Britain’s attempts to recover the islands and her standing as a world power.
The Falklands war began on the 2nd of April 1982, when Argentine forces invaded and occupied the islands of Falkland and South Georgia. In doing so, the Argentine leadership hoped to mobilise the people’s long standing patriotic feelings and historic claim on the islands. It was also hoped that this would divert public opinion away from the country’s economic problems and its contentious military ruling junta.